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Parts of Big Ten’s $7B Media Rights Deal Still Up In The Air

  • Schools may reportedly lose out on around $70 million.
  • Deals weren't completed when former commissioner Kevin Warren left conference.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten’s new media rights deal with Fox, CBS, and NBC are set to begin this fall — but the financial figures could be in jeopardy.

Initially heralded as vital for the conference’s future and valued at $7 billion, the seven-year deals negotiated by former Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren have fallen under the microscope after ESPN painted a chaotic picture of Warren’s successor Tony Petitti’s first month on the job.

When Warren left to become the Chicago Bears’ new president, the Big Ten’s media deals hadn’t been officially signed. ESPN reports that more than $70 million — about $5 million per school — is now up in the air due to unsettled payment figures.

Additionally, flagship schools like Michigan and Ohio State are apparently unhappy with a requirement to play night football games well into November, claiming they didn’t agree to it.

Nebraska athletics director Trev Alberts said the Cornhuskers would have no issue playing at any time slot — perhaps unsurprising given the school’s recent struggles on the field.

With no suggestion that Fox, CBS, or NBC will pull out of the impending agreements before the college football season starts, it’s likely that Big Ten schools’ revenue from the contracts will be lower than originally reported.

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